NEW YORK — Mass retailers expect big things from shoppers who procrastinate.
Drugstores and discount stores traditionally generate most of their holiday sales in the final days as consumers scramble to complete their lists, said Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreen Co.
Both Target and Wal-Mart promoted a price-matching strategy that included online merchants. Rite Aid came out swinging early with fragrance deals including buy one, get another 50 percent off for its Wellness+ loyalty card members. At Duane Reade’s upscale Look Boutiques, the chain featured eye-catching values — including a $24.99 Rihanna Rebelle fragrance gift set — within the pages of its glossy Look Book. Duane Reade benefited from an appearance by Olympian Dara Torres, who is a brand ambassador for AmLactin, at a bustling store not far from Rockefeller Center, with crowds forming as samples spilled into the beauty department.
Walgreens broadened its approach to gift giving, as did several of its peers. Walgreens’ 12 Days of Beauty effort, which promotes a different products during the 12 days leading up to Christmas, included Crest WhiteStrips, Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Nail Color and the Mariah Carey Lollipop fragrance.
Target stationed Boots advisers in its beauty departments to welcome shoppers. “This holiday season, our bath and body, fragrance, value cosmetics and nail-color offerings are most popular,” said a Target Corp. spokesman. “Exclusive fragrance sets from Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, as well as cosmetics from E.l.f., are also performing very well. Nail color continues to drive sales this season.”
In fact, buyers said nail is the main sales driver this season. Kiss Product’s Grace Tallon, senior vice president of market, said the nail-art category rises almost 90 percent in sales during the holiday season versus the prior month, driven by products such as Kiss Nail Dress, Kiss Nail Sticker and Kiss Nail Artist Paint Kits. “These items are perfect holiday gifts and stocking stuffers,” she said.
This year, the category will get a boost from gel nail kits. “Gel nail kits are absolutely selling for Christmas,” said Barry Shields, the marketing manager for Innovative Beauty Group, which produces Red Carpet Manicure.
Beyond nails, retailers said both fragrance sets and color blockbusters are more popular than the last three years when shoppers pinched pennies opting for single sizes. “Gift sets have often provided a somewhat stress-free purchase for the shopper to get in and out of the madness that surrounds shopping during the holiday season,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at The NPD Group. “And it’s not just fragrance anymore. Sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care, too.”
E.l.f. Cosmetics introduced several color kits this year. “Sales across the board are very strong, up high double digits over last year,” said Joey Shamah, chief executive officer of E.l.f. “We’ve been really successful this year introducing higher price point and value sets with a high-end packaging feel and the customer has really responded.”
Price was a bit less of an issue in the personal care aisle, too. Yes To Inc. cofounder Ido Leffler said this holiday season has marked a return to giving, regardless of the price point. “In past years we’ve seen people holding back a little and this year people just wanted to give, especially with all that is going on in world,” he said, adding that the recently launched Yes To hair-care line has also been a strong performer leading up to the holidays. “The more you can show to people the better and that doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive thing. Here we do stocking stuffers in the months leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas, and we are definitely seeing that this will be one of our most record-breaking months.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)